Thomas Riess

Community acceptance and implementation of HIV prevention interventions for injection drug users

Background: In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviewed evidence of the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs for injection drug users (IDUs) and recommended that three types of interventions be implemented to prevent transmission of HIV among IDUs: 1) community-based outreach, 2) expanded syringe access (including needle exchange programs [NEP] and pharmacy sales), and 3) drug treatment.

Project Access: Barriers to HIV Counseling and Testing, and the Prevention Strategies of Drug Users Community

Project Access is a qualitative study of barriers to HIV counseling and testing, and the personal HIV prevention strategies of drug users. Main Findings:
  • Drug users’ risk behavior was not directly related to the number of times they had previously tested for HIV.
  • Personal prevention strategies and HIV testing patterns are shaped by public health messages, institutional practices, and the concrete realities of living and surviving in impoverished communities.
  • Many low-income drug users approach HIV as a chronic illness, one of many life threatening diseases facing